With more than 14 years of experience behind him, Nir Shoshani is constantly testing and pushing the boundaries of dance music. His latest effort, Singular, released on his own Punch Music label is no different. The 5 track EP featuring collaborations with Funk D’Void, and Roland M Dill, takes you on a sonic journey, combining different genre elements into a deep driving sound. We caught up with Shoshani to talk about his native Israel, his approach to production, and about running a label.
CGNY: Hi Nir, thank you for taking the time to talk with us, and congratulations on the release.
Nir: Hey how's it going? I'm recovering from the Singular EP launch weekend. Had a couple of great gigs in Tel Aviv and in my home town Jerusalem.
CGNY: You collaborated with Funk D’Void and Roland M. Dill on this release. How did the project come to life, and at which point did those two get involved?
Nir: Well with Lars (FTV) it’s my second collaboration. We released a 2 track E.P on his imprint Outpost Recordings; both were charted on Beatport top 100. We are already working on our next E.P.
With Roland the story is a bit different. After a remix that Roland did For Punch Music, for Muzarco's track Red Streams, about three years ago, we booked him for a label party here in Tel Aviv and we became good friends, which led to a full e.p by Roland (The Mysterious case of Maryam Alma) followed by a remixes e.p that was very successful, so collaborating was nothing but natural. Roland is a super talented musician and not only in electronic music.
CGNY: What was the workflow like? Were you guys in the studio together, or working together long distance?
Nir: Because all of us are very busy (touring running labels and making music) and we are almost never in the same country at the same time so we use the "Ping Pong" method ;) Sometimes I start a loop send it to Lars or Roland and they send back after they work on it and so on until it’s finished. Then I Master it at my studio and it’s ready.
CGNY: You’re originally from Jerusalem. When someone thinks techno music, this is not the first city that pops to mind. What were some of your early electronic music experiences in Jerusalem and in Israel in general? How do you feel the local scene has changed since?
Nir: Well as weird as it’s gonna sound, there used to be more techno in Jerusalem than any other city in Israel back in the day. Underground parties in deserted buildings and lofts or construction sites used to be common in the 90's in Jerusalem. The first Richie Hawtin, Sven Vath and Josh Wink gigs in israel were in Jerusalem legendary Haoman 17 Club (before the club moved to Tel Aviv).
Now the scene in Israel is different we have about 10 international dj's here every week (Israel is a very small country so that’s a huge number).
But the cool thing is that we also have a lot great talents that are touring and playing gigs outside such as Gel Abril, Shlomi Aber, Guy Mantzur, Red Axes, Guy J, Guy Gerber to name a few.
CGNY: At what point did you decide to try your hand at producing? How did you kind of get started?
Nir: I started playing Vinyl in 96 and then in 97 my brother Tal (Punch Music Artist Muzarco) showed me one of the first digital only production program called Impulse tracker, it was very low-tech compared for what we use these days and the move from just Djing to producing felt great and natural.
CGNY: What was the first track you signed and how did its release come about?
Nir: My first release was out on a compilation from a Jerusalem label called the Electronic Front, It was a group of artists that did underground electronic music from Jerusalem. We made some parties and released this compilation.
2 years ago we (Punch) made a tribute release For Oosh, one of the artists that was also on the Electronic Front. It was released on Punch Music under the title "Over G". All of the Punch artists remixed this wonderful track by Oosh. A true analog classic tune.
CGNY: How much time do you spend in the studio on a regular basis? How long does it usually take you to finish a track? How do you balance Studio time with live performance and touring?
Nir: I love being and creating in the studio. So I spend as much time as I can, sometimes up to 10 hours a day. A track takes sometimes 3 days sometimes a week, but I always leave it for a few weeks, play it out first ("crowd test"). Then I do a final mix and finishing touches after I listened to it a few times in other places (headphones or car or home stereo). When I’m on tour it’s harder of course to find time for the studio; but somehow when I come back from a tour I’m "hungry" for the studio so the work flows faster. I also don’t believe so much in inspiration, but in hard work so it gives me a sort of freedom to make music when I choose to. I don’t need to wait for a certain moment to create.
CGNY: What was the motivation behind launching Punch Music? What are some of the goals you have set for the label?
Nir: Our motivation in Punch Music is to show the world the talents we have here in Israel. Our goal is to leave our mark on the electronic music world bring the local flavour to the club world. The sound we make is different because we are influenced by what we hear in our daily lives in the middle east. Israel is a melting pot of cultures and this comes out in our music. In the last feature they did on us on DJ Mag they named it the Israeli sound or Israeli techno.
CGNY: What advice would you give young producers and DJs trying to break into the industry?
Nir: First and foremost you have to have a lot of patience; it takes a few years to break through and a lot of hard work. You must work every day! Get used to hearing the word no or even not getting any answer from labels. Some labels are looking for a specific style some are not interested in demos at all, and they are all swamped with music people send them. Always try to be unique and have your own sound and style otherwise you fall into the zillion other copy paste producers out there and labels and good DJ's are not looking for more of the same. Keep up with what going on and think what might be the next big thing and try to be the first to bring it.
CGNY: What is up next for you? And more importantly, when can we expect you in New York next?
Nir: At the moment I’m working on a few releases in my studio here in Tel Aviv. Following My E.P Singular on Punch Music will be Muzarco's new output "Cashewpeia" including a remix by German artist Basti Grub. Then Singular remixes by Agaric, Jay Tripwire, Muzarco and Harvey McKay. About NY I was actually on a U.S and Mexico Tour supposed to come play in NY and then Hurricane Sandy hit the city so of course the gig was cancelled. Hopefully on my next tour will come to NY (I love this city a lot).
CGNY: If you weren’t a Techno producer and DJ, what other profession do you think you would choose?
Nir: I like professions that don’t exist yet so I guess I’d be a spaceship clown or the next big main religion Ninja Guru ;)
CGNY: Once again, thanks for taking the time and talking with us. We wish you the very best with this release, and with the label. Toda!
Nir: Thank you!
Interview for CGNY by Boaz Tcherikover
Direct Link to set for download
01-Steve Bug and Foremost Poets-no_adjustments_Alessio_Mereu_remix_SF
02-Aeon and Fedele_-_For_Real_Jay_Tripwires_Revenge_of_the_303_Remix
06-Michal Ho - Don't Rush (Jay Haze's Return Of The Pony Mix)
07-Philipp_Blecha and Karl_Moestl_-_She_Gets
11-Nir Shoshani and Funk D'void-Scorpio's Theme
13-Pig and Dan_-_Paint_It_Black_Coyu_Remix
14-Nir Shoshani and Roland M. Dill-Disturbia